Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Biggest Fears

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #21: "Shaking in My Boot."

What's your biggest Migraine related fear? How do you cope with it?

I would have to say I have two big, big fears related to migraines. How do I cope with them? Not well. The first fear is probably one that plagues every migraine sufferer. Heck, they probably both plague migraine sufferers. The first I'll talk about though is fear of the next big migraine. I have some fear of every migraine, but I can handle some better than others. The next BIG one though, ugh. Just thinking about it makes me want to curl into the fetal position and stay there. Not a very handy coping mechanism! I guess I handle it better than I once did. Once upon a time I was virtually paralyzed by the fear of the next migraine. Utterly and completely depressed, I spent most of my time in tears and in bed and locked in my house, usually in pain and always in fear of more pain and when the pain would become even worse. Now, I have at least realized that I can handle most of what migraine can throw at me, and what I can't handle, I have pharmaceuticals to help with! Thank God I have meds to knock me mostly unconscious through some of the worst of it when needed, and an ER close by that treats me fairly well. Still, there is the fear, because there is no way to escape all the pain. I will have to feel some of the pain before the meds kick in, and it just seems unbearable during those minutes and hours.

The second huge fear is one I imagine most migraineurs feel as well, it's the fear of letting people down. I grew up pretty much doing every thing right, being the good student, not getting into much trouble, keeping my parents happy, and even when I did things wrong, it was in a good way--if that makes any sense. It was that--look at Julie, she's being independent and we can be proud of that, kind of thing. Now, I can't be independent at all, I am not consistent with anything I do, I am scared to make advance plans... I always thought I would have a high-powered, professional career and instead, I can't work at all. I volunteer on the good days but I can't even do that consistently. It's maddening to not be dependable. People have come to depend on my independability. They don't seem to care. The people who love me understand, but I don't want them to have to understand. I want to be dependable and consistent, just like everyone else. I hate having to explain to my niece and nephews why I didn't show up somewhere, or that I can't do what they want me to or take them where I said I would because I have a migraine. That's so frustrating. I hate canceling on friends, I hate not working and contributing money to our household. All of this just makes me feel like a big letdown for everyone in my life. How do I cope with this feeling? I don't very well. Therapy, I guess. It's a work in progress. I typically just ignore it until I can't ignore it any longer and then discuss it with my psychologist and feel better for awhile and then it rears it's ugly head again.... As I said, it's a work in progress. It helps to remember that it's mostly my issue, that the people around me truly don't seem to care, they truly seem to have adjusted. These are my expectations for MYSELF. Still, though, we are our harshest critics, aren't we?

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger's Challenge is initiated by


  1. Can relate so well to both of those. I find that migraines are worse if I haven't had one for a while. Like there's a build up of *something* and unless it has that fortnightly release, which is the norm for me, it punishes me for it with a double-whammy or an extra intense migraine.

    And yes, letting people down. I've virtually become a recluse as far as a social life is concerned. This doesn't bother me greatly; I'm quite introverted anyway, but was so sick of cancelling dates with friends that in the end I withdrew almost completely. Stress is a factor for me and I work myself up into it, I know it. I worry about letting people down, but it's that worrying that brings the migraine on. Vicious circle!

  2. Hi, Karen. It is a vicious circle. I worry about letting people down when I have a migraine, and I know it makes the migraine worse.

    I finally have come out of my shell a little because I am having a little less pain than in the past, but for years and years, I was just as you described, almost a recluse and completely sidelined because of the pain and the inability to make plans or feel like I could function in society. It's nice to be out and about more, but I still deal with difficulty making plans and being very inconsistent. Luckily, I have some very understanding friends.

  3. <3 you never let me down. I love you, friend.

  4. Thanks, Netta. I try not to. It helps to have such understanding and easy going people in my life. Love you too!